Blog Entry

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

Posted on: September 23, 2008 8:47 am

Well, I've been beaten up for being a Michael Watlrip fan and especially the fact that MWR hasn't been doing that well.  I have been defending by saying that this is a new team and you can't expect a new team to come out of the box and compete, it doesn't happen.  But now it looks like MWR is finally trying to turn that corner to respectability. 

I say this because when you look at the Runs David Ruetimann has made the past 5 races and then Mikey's top 10 last week, well there for a fan you can see light at the end of the tunnel.  It started when MWR finally started to make better, lighter chassis.  It took them awhile to pick upon the material other teams were using, and through Mikeys admission, this was learned with his relationship with JGR this spring. 

Now people are saying Michael doesn't have a chance because UPS just left the organization for Roush and the 6 car.  Well, while that hurt, MWR has stated they have sponsorship for the car David Ruetimann will drive next season, the 00. (the 44 will go back to Petty Enterprise it looks like).  And MWR is on the brink of signing a sponsor for the Car Michael McDowell will drive, (Guessing it will be the 66). 

Also, all you have to do is look at who Michael is bringing into the shop and you can understand that this team is in it for the long haul.  Michael just signed Steve Hallan, an Engineer who is the current Head  of Mclaren's Racing Operations.  Steve has worked as lead engineer and won F-1 Championships, for Ayren Senna, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen.  A pretty good resume if you ask me. 

I know I say this all the time but don't be surprised if Mikey wins at 'Dega this year and starts to consistently starts to run top 20's.  I think David and his team has now shown they can run top 20 week to week and the 00 car with McDowell, is still fighting for that 35th  spot, (now 36th) but they are turning things around too.  I look for a good weekend from the entire team at Kansas. 

MWR has made great strides this year compared to last year, IMO.  And I think the strides will be even greater next season.  MWR could be a contender next season believe it or not.

Category: Auto Racing

Since: Dec 31, 2007
Posted on: September 24, 2008 1:40 pm

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

MWR racing has been steadily improving this season and David is looking pretty good.    Mikey had a great finish as well.  I have to admit though I was nervous with him racing with Smoke for so long! (insert smiley face here)   I dont think Marcos Ambrose will really bring anything to help MWR out as he is still new to ovals and Nascar.    I also dont agree with Frady in that what MWR did starting up is alot harder then what Tony has to do to get his team going.  I wouldnt be surprised if David made the chase next year or just missed it.   I do think that MWR has to get some better drivers in before they really make a big difference  McDowell and if Ambrose comes along are just not the answer.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2008 10:24 am

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

Ihate - just for informational purposes MWR has not had a car miss a race this year.  That and the way they are running right now gives me hope.  I know Frady thinks Mikey should step down but I think Mikey still has some things he is going to prove to some folks and yes the optimist in me, says he will win a couple of races within the next couple of years and yes one will not be on a Restrictor plate.  Heck he may even win this year.  'Dega coming up and Lowes, a place where he has run well at before.  (A 2nd in 2003 or 2004 600, plus he has won the all-star race at Lowes too.)

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 11:37 pm

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

I hope so mikey. i think that he has already made a complete turn around just because of last year barely being able to get a car in the field, to this year all his cars making most of the races and having some really good runs here as of late. And the edition of that engineer is going to be a big plus, and i really dont think sponsorship will be that big of an issue.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 2:49 pm

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

They are definitely turning the corner. Reutimann has impressed me the last few weeks, and that was a hell of a run for Mikey on Sunday.

I'm now also seeing the rumors that they could steal Ambrose and start a 4th team next year. If that happens, they may just be a couple years away from being true contenders.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 10:36 am

MWR Finally turning the Corner?

Mikeyfan I will admit Waltrip is trying in the shop but that doesn't mean anything sometimes results wise. You say a start up team but i bet Stewart and Newman do better then all MWR drivers next season and Stewart teams is just as much a start up team. You have to admit its time for Waltrip to step aside. Reutimann is doing his thing and finally starting to get his groove. I worry though when his contract is up if he jumps ship to try and make the chase. McDowell should be Nationwide right now to get some experience. This kid was rushed and its not good for an owner and driver to be learning as they go together. My point is you can do everything you want in the shop. Its the driver that has to drive the car to victory lane. And two of the three drivers in MWR just cant do that in my opinion.

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